Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Hearing the Russian Meteor, in America

07.05.2013
How powerful was February’s meteor that crashed into Russia? Strong enough that its explosive entry into our atmosphere was detected almost 6,000 miles away in Lilburn, Ga., by infrasound sensors – a full 10 hours after the meteor’s explosion. A Georgia Tech researcher has modified the signals and made them audible, allowing audiences to “hear” what the meteor’s waves sounded like as they moved around the globe on February 15.

Lilburn is home to one of nearly 400 USArray seismic/infrasound stations in use in the eastern United States. They are part of a large-scale project named “Earthscope,” an initiative funded by the National Science Foundation that studies the Earth’s interior beneath North America.

The stations are mainly deployed to record seismic waves generated from earthquakes, but their sound sensors can record ultra long-period sound waves, also known as infrasound waves.

The human ear cannot hear these infrasound signals. However, by playing the data faster than true speed, Georgia Tech faculty member Zhigang Peng increased the sound waves’ frequency to audible levels. The Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology's Data Managment Center provided the data.

“The sound started at about 10 hours after the explosion and lasted for another 10 hours in Georgia,” said Peng, an associate professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. He’s confident that the sound is associated with the meteor impact because a slow propagation of the sound waves can be seen across the entire collection of USArray stations, as well as other stations in Alaska and polar regions.

“They are like tsunami waves induced by large earthquakes,” Peng added. “Their traveling speeds are similar, but the infrasound propagates in the atmosphere rather than in deep oceans.”

Scientists believe the meteor was about 55 feet in diameter, weighed more than 7,000 tons and raced through the sky at 40,000 miles an hour. Its energy was estimated at 30 nuclear bombs. More than 1,500 people were hurt.

Using the same sonification process, Peng also converted seismic waves from North Korea’s nuclear test on February 12 and an earthquake in Nevada the next day. Each registered as a 5.1 magnitude event but created different sounds. The measurements were collected by seismic instruments located about 100 to 200 miles from each event. For further comparison, Peng has also created a seismic recording of the meteor impact at a similar distance.

“The initial sound of the nuclear explosion is much stronger, likely due to the efficient generation of compressional wave (P wave) for an explosive source,” said Peng. “In comparison, the earthquake generated stronger shear waves that arrived later than its P wave.”

Peng says the seismic signal from the meteor is relatively small, even after being amplified by 10 times. According to Peng, this is mainly because most of the energy from the meteor explosion propagated as the infrasound displayed in the initial sound clip. Only a very small portion was turned into seimsic waves propagating inside the Earth.

This isn’t the first time Peng has converted seismic data into audible files. He also sonified 2011's historic Tohoku-Oki, Japan, earthquake as it moved through the Earth and around the globe.

The seismic and sound data generated by the meteor impact and other sources can be used to demonstrate their global impact. Scientists are also using them to better understand their source characterizations and how they propagate above and inside the earth.

Jason Maderer | Newswise
Further information:
http://www.gatech.edu

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Predicting unpredictability: Information theory offers new way to read ice cores
07.12.2016 | Santa Fe Institute

nachricht Sea ice hit record lows in November
07.12.2016 | University of Colorado at Boulder

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

NTU scientists build new ultrasound device using 3-D printing technology

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

The balancing act: An enzyme that links endocytosis to membrane recycling

07.12.2016 | Life Sciences

How to turn white fat brown

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>